How to Invest in Yourself and Watch Your Life Change in 2014

The first thing many people think of when talking about investing is the stock market, mutual funds and building wealth.

But what about the other most important investment you can make?

YOU! The best investment you can make is in yourself. Here are five ways to invest in yourself that will change your life.

1. Get out of debt

If you're in debt, it's doing nothing but dragging you down and keeping you from accomplishing your big goals. Before I could realize my dream of quitting my job and traveling the world, I knew debt couldn't be part of the plan.

There are different kinds of debt, but if you have credit card debt, you need to pay it off as quickly as possible. The high interest rates and fees can keep you in spiral of debt and payments for a very long time.

If you want to see big results in building wealth, saving for the future and pursuing other financial goals, getting out of debt needs to be the first step. Vow to make it a priority today!

2. Pay bills on time

Paying your bills on time may seem like a simple thing, but it can have massive benefits. For starters, it will ensure you establish a good credit history, which can help you get approved for mortgage and auto loans. You'll also be able to be approved for much lower interest rates, which can save you thousands of dollars over a period of years.

Additionally you'll be building a solid reputation when making payments on time, which will give you a leg up on the competition -- like applying for a new job. Yep, paying your bills can have big results in other ways than the traditional ones.

3. Find a like-minded community

If you currently don't have an encouraging group of supporters, it's time to find one. Jim Rohn says that you're the average of the five people you spend the most time with, so who are you surrounding yourself with?

If you want to have a successful career, be an eventual millionaire, or have the perfect work/life balance, you've got to find a like-minded community to help you reach your goals. This is especially important if you have financial aspirations.

Being around people with a poverty mindset will keep you in your current financial state, if not make it worse. Goals like becoming debt free are tough, so you'll need a like-minded group of people to encourage you along the way.

4. Learn a new skill

Nothing has a bigger overall impact than investing in yourself and your skills. Learning a new language or a new computer skill can open up you up to new career and job opportunities. You could even find what you're really passionate about, or what helps you make a difference in the world.

This step will also keep your mind and body alert and active because you're constantly learning new and interesting things. Don't let yourself get bored with your current job, hobby or other aspirations. Always be open to learning and improving yourself!

5. Hire a coach

This is probably one of the single best things that I've ever done for myself. Whatever area you're struggling with, whether it's marital, financial, or business-related, hiring a coach to help you along the way will pay off big time.

I would have never found the confidence (or even know my true feelings) to quit my job and start my own business, if I hadn't hired a business coach. I also hired a life coach to help with the transition of it all, including getting a divorce, moving to a new city and starting over.

A coach can help support, encourage and keep you on track towards your big goals, while making you a better person overall. I've seen this myself, both personally and professionally. And because of this I've been able to take vacations, while making more money than at my day job.

Investing in yourself doesn't take a lot of time and effort. Even the simplest things can have big returns if you know where to focus your energy.

What's one thing you can do to invest in yourself today?

This content is owned by Careful Cents and originally appeared here.